After overthinking it a bit, I’ve realised that many traditions are just sort of born out of doing the same thing this year that we did last year without much thought. So when Mika said ‘christmas can’t be here yet cause we haven’t cut down our tree!’ it became so that a tradition would be to cut down a tree (so long as we are in a place where we can do this) and of course we had to go to the same place we happened to go to last year. Two years in a row? Tradition!
But so much more awesome cause, well, Oma and Teo are here! (And also because M is at an age where decorating the tree is apparently SUPER exciting. Last year she didn’t care about this much).
And Mika had a chat with Santa. I’m not sure what they talked about, cause when I asked her about it she went all shy and said she couldn’t remember. But later this evening she ran up to me and said ‘Mama, wasn’t it so exciting that I got to see Santa today?!’
where am i again? another 18 hours, totally different from the last time (we both sorta just slept the whole way), and i’m back in seattle. no matter how many times i do it, plane travel still blows my mind. i can wake up in winter time in new zealand and then go to sleep in summer time in seattle. it’s crazy.
the whole trip was sorta crazy. after being sick for so much of it, we finally managed to cram a bunch of stuff into a couple days: i played squash with my brother, we picnicked with one of my best friends and her two kids, i caught up with a group of ladies and babies that i joined before mika was born (who are now ladies and toddlers with baby siblings!), i managed to have lunch and dinner and drinks with friends but still didn’t manage to see everyone.
and then maybe the best part of all – my brother and i did the drive out to the beach that we grew up near and we walked along the wild west coast of new zealand and i felt tiny and humbled and strong and free.
we’ve been in new zealand for a week now and today was the first day that one of us wasn’t feeling pretty awful. coming back to new zealand in the middle of winter is probably the best way to avoid any strong feelings of wanting to return in a hurry.
the first thing i noticed was how much i don’t miss driving. the second thing i noticed was how much i really love the kid-friendly spots we have in seattle.
then i noticed how much better new zealand does brunch and cafe food in general. and then i remembered how nice it is to be able to order a ‘long black’ and not have to specify size or strength or anything else. and of course i then noticed and focused on how nice it is to be here, so close to friends and family.
2 more days to go. this is a little bit of so far:
i slept in til 8 and then ivan came in to whisper ‘we’re going to the market’ and i decided i didn’t want to sleep in on mother’s day.
i ate some steel cut oats with cinnamon and berries and we walked/bussed into ballard. we walked through the market, we bought fresh veggies, we drank coffee and shared some treats, i practiced yoga, ivan cleaned our yard, we played and chased and read books.
ivan took some pictures and i cringe when i see myself in them because of my tired eyes and my crazy hair, but i wanna post them anyway because when i look back in years to come, i’m sure those things won’t matter to me at all. this is my second official year of being a mama and this is how i look right now.
mother’s day is awesome, mainly because i really don’t have to change a single diaper, but also because it makes me think about how much i love being a mum. i love thinking about how much my mum must love me – something i always knew (obviously), but after having mika i realised it in an entirely new way. i feel so entirely grateful in such an indescribable way, for what i must have put my mother through as a crying baby, a fussy toddler and (what i’ll be somewhat soon able to fully appreciate) as an awful awful teenager.
i feel like i couldn’t be the mama i am if it wasn’t for the support of some amazing people: my parents and my best friends, but mainly of course because of ivan, who makes it possible for me to continue to run and practice yoga and cook meals and have time for myself. ivan who, when both of us are beyond exhausted, will be the one to get up to see mika at 3 in the morning. ivan, who will rush home after work exhausted, and play chase with mika for an hour then bath her and put her to bed and then stay up til after midnight finishing his work. ivan, who cleans the bathroom, takes the rubbish out, makes our bed and cooks us oats every morning. ivan, who cooks me an extremely healthy and delicious vegan brunch on mother’s day because he knows exactly what i like to eat and how i like to eat it. i know i’m only the mother i am, because he is the partner he is.
and depsite everything, you know, everything. like all those things that make being a mama so hard, i still feel like the luckiest human alive to be the mama to this girl.
happy mother’s day to my mama, and to all the beautiful mama’s out there and to all the amazing people who help mamas be the best mamas they can be.
I’ve only ever celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving and so I had no idea what a big deal Thanksgiving was in America. It’s a long weekend here and people are saying ‘happy holidays!’ in the street as though it’s Christmas time already. And I mean it practically is Christmas time. The lights are up, the advertisements are many and I’m pretty sure ‘happy holidays’ is what we’ll be hearing from now until January 2nd. I’m not complaining at all. The sooner I can crank the Christmas tunes and get some pine and fir up in this house, the better.
In the spirit of the happy holidays I am so thankful for my family. For the little miss M who leaps into my arms, holds my head with both her hands and kisses me square on the mouth. For the handsome man in my life who always gives me time to run and yoga and who never fails to keep our house bright with fresh flowers and make me tea.
I’m thankful for the beautiful friends and family who are flying to the other side of the world to celebrate our wedding with us in just over ONE MONTH.
I’m thankful for our warmth and our food, the rain and the sunshine, books and good coffee and making new friends who make new places feel like home.
I think EVERYONE should celebrate thanksgiving in some form. We don’t eat turkey but we are cooking a feast tomorrow (menu below) and thinking of our loved ones who are in far away places. Also check this out, just cause I think it’s a pretty great idea. Happy holidays y’all.
Black-eyed peas in garlic-ginger-braised mustard greens (The Inspired Vegan, Bryant Terry)
Molasses, miso & maple candied sweet potatoes (The Inspired Vegan, Bryant Terry)